5 misconceptions about home office

October 2020

The system is becoming more widespread but the balance between advantages and disadvantages must be refined. Has teleworking become a non-topic? In recent months and the start of the health crisis, remote work has emerged as a new strong marker of life in a company. With its followers and its opponents. This debate is all the more exacerbated as remote work is still often the subject of hazardous interpretations. The Kardham Group has identified five ideas on telecommuting.

We are more efficient in home office.
This is the question that agitates many business leaders. "Of course, remote work questions productivity but, in the tertiary economy, based on intellectual value and the exchange of information, it is difficult to measure it other than by perceived productivity", explains Jean-François Couëc. , President of Kardham. He also recalls that the majority of employees questioned in the multiple surveys indicate that they perform well in teleworking.
According to the manager, the question "performing-not performing" is not well posed because it is rather a question of knowing which tasks are compatible with remote work. “It seems that this is the case for individual tasks but less so for collective tasks. “A job involving an entire team and requiring ongoing discussions will therefore be more difficult to conduct remotely.

Beware of excess.
Telework destroys social life. Without seeing his colleagues and without going to his workplace, social life dissipates. "This is undoubtedly true if teleworking is exclusive, but in companies, the current debates on teleworking revolve around the face-to-face balance and not on exclusive distance", comments Frédéric Miquel, Managing Director of Kardham.
Currently, apart from a few isolated cases, French employees are called upon to visit the site at least two or three days a week, except for certain professions which would be considered incompatible. “So it is not teleworking that harms social life but its excess. There are strong disparities here depending on the individual, the corporate cultures and the professions, ”explains Frédéric Miquel.

It is difficult to manage remotely.
Despite the promotion of the liberated company in which horizontality dominates, management remains in part an exercise of control, without the word being pejorative: control is part of the framework. This is the observation of Jean-François Couëc who observes that "management is possible from a distance in the sense that work control is possible".
For its part, the distance reveals new methods of managerial supervision more focused around the objective. “However, it is certain that the excess of teleworking harms human relations and therefore the managerial relationship, which is also a matter of close human links. "

Autonomy and accountability.
Teleworking undermines attachment to the company. The nomadic worker is a developing species. Whether at home, on the train or in a third place, many employees work elsewhere than on the company's premises. As teleworking develops, this distance from the company is accelerating.
"We can then fear that the nomad will turn into a" wanderer "with the increase in his absence on site, gradually detaching him from his organization, explains Frédéric Miquel. Which does not seem to be the case with a face-to-face-distance balance. According to the CEO of Kardham, an employer who allows teleworking sends a message in favor of autonomy and responsibility, potential factors of attachment and commitment.

Home office fosters concentration.
This is one of the main arguments of employees, first underlines Jean-François Couëc. “Faced with the generalization of open workspaces, in which it seems more difficult to concentrate, teleworking would act as a regulator making it possible to find moments conducive to concentration. "
The president of Kardham does not deny this reality but he observes that teleworking is also conducive to requests and interruptions of a professional and personal nature because of the multiplicity of communication channels: SMS, Teams, Zoom, email, phone calls, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram ... Finally, cognitive overload is perhaps as heavy as in the office.

 

Teleworking therefore presents opportunities and risks. The central question is therefore the amount of teleworking and the search for the right balance between distance and face-to-face.

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Article published on October 26th, 2020 in Le Figaro.

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Nathalie Neyret

Nathalie Neyret

Head of Marketing & Communications

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